If you have an injury over 3 years old, you may wonder whether there is still a chance of claiming anything in compensation. There are time limits for compensation claims, and these must be borne in mind if you have any kind of injury over 3 years old.
The three-year period is the standard and recognised time in which a personal injury claim should be made by anyone seeking compensation for their injuries. This gives you enough time following an accident or injury to get in touch with a legal professional who has experience in such matters. The three-year period begins from the day the accident happened, which is when the clock will start ticking.
Many people enquire about claiming very soon after an accident has occurred in which they suffer an injury. Immediately following an accident, the injured person is likely to be in shock and upset about what has occurred. Additionally, they will be focused on how they feel and whether they have any injuries that require medical attention. Knowing basic first aid techniques can be very useful in such situations. Furthermore, you never know when someone else might benefit from your skills.
Can an official record of your injuries make a difference to whether you can claim?
The time limit will still apply, of course, but if you decide to make a claim at any stage, it is easier to prove what injuries you sustained if you have a medical record of them. Some injuries will require a visit to the local accident and emergency department, and may even require urgent paramedic assistance via the 999 service. However, you should always get yourself checked out following an accident or injury, even if you attend your GP or a walk-in centre to do so.
This is because the injuries will then be confirmed and assessed by a medical professional. They will be able to provide any treatment that is required, not to mention making a proper record of your visit. A copy of this can be retrieved by your lawyer should you decide to make a claim. You could still claim without it, but it may prove more difficult. This is also why taking photographs of your injuries is a good idea.
What about children?
The three-year rule still applies in this situation, but with a crucial difference. Anyone under the age of 18 who is hurt in an accident has three years from the date they turn 18 to make a claim. So, even if they were hurt aged seven and the injury over 3 years old applies to them, they would have time to claim later. The official government website has further information about the Limitation Act 1980, and relevant details about limitations pertaining to personal injuries.
If you have an injury over 3 years old, should you simply forget about trying to claim anything?
No. it is always advisable to speak with a solicitor, because this enables you to speak with someone who has extensive knowledge and experience of the legal system. A solicitor who deals with personal injury cases will know whether there are any extenuating circumstances in your case that might enable you to make a claim, even when the usual time limit has passed. Your circumstances and your injuries will be looked at to confirm whether a claim could still be a possibility.
In many cases, this won’t be possible, which is why contacting a solicitor as soon as you can after the accident is advisable.
Getting help as soon as you can
If you have an injury over 3 years old, you may still be suffering problems with it. Conversely, some injuries heal quickly. Most people are sensible enough to get their injuries checked out, but you may not always need to go to casualty. A minor injury unit might be nearby that could prove more useful, for example. If you don’t know the area, use your phone to look for local services – assuming your injury isn’t serious enough to warrant calling an ambulance, of course.
You’re likely to feel upset and perhaps even confused by what happened. This can apply in car accidents, slips, trips and falls, accidents at work and in every other situation you can imagine. By getting treatment, you will be on the road to recovery as quickly as possible, and you will know the extent of your injuries. It is only later that you may start to think about making a claim and whether you could do this, not to mention how much you might receive if you did. That’s why there is a reasonable time limit in place, so you can focus on your health above all else and consider claiming something later.
Can we be of assistance?
Now you know how important it is to seek advice as quickly as possible, rather than leaving it until you have an injury over 3 years old. But if you have still got time to think about making a claim, or your child is still young enough for you to claim on their behalf, we may be able to help. Our lawyers are familiar with all aspects of the law surrounding personal injury claims, even if you have an injury over 3 years old. We can guide you through pre-action protocol if you wish to know more, but our lawyers will handle everything on your behalf if you have a good case.
When you call us on 0800 689 0500, you can chat with a friendly advisor at Accident Advice Helpline. You can also get in touch via your mobile on 0333 500 0993 depending on your preference. Rest assured we will support you in making a no-win, no-fee claim for compensation if you have a strong case and if you wish to proceed. Even if you are still suffering from an injury over 3 years old, we could be well placed to help. Wouldn’t you like to know more?
Date Published: 20th November 2016
Author: Rob Steen